What is Digital Psychology and Why is it Important for Your Online Business?

digital psychology and neuromarketing

Digital psychology allows you to understand user behavior and apply it to the way that you market online. By identifying your customer’s mindset and needs, you can boost the persuasiveness of your copy and design to influence buying patterns.

Psychology makes it easier to understand human behavior. What if you could harness that understanding into your online business? You can, and it’s known as digital psychology.

If you know even a bit about how a person operates, you can connect with them more easily. You do that with everyone you work with including friends, family members, and coworkers. By understanding their personality, you can predict their behaviors. It allows you to get along with them and give them what they need in various situations.

If you’re operating a business online, you need to connect with your consumers. It only makes sense to apply the same basic psychology principles to your target audience.

How Digital Psychology Works

Over 95% of buying decisions are made by the subconscious mind.

Digital psychology is a new concept, but the overall practice is nothing new. It combines behavioral economics with psychology to discover how people behave and respond online.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, is the foundational and wildly popular go-to resource for influence and persuasion and you can learn a lot about human behavior and persuasion from this book alone. By embracing this new information, you can learn a lot about your target audience.

  • What they’re interested in
  • How to get their attention
  • How to elicit emotional responses
  • Understand your customers pain points
  • Understand you customers’ conscious and non-conscious motivation
  • Influence their buying decisions
  • How to build trust and authority
  • Use the right psychological triggers at the right time to improve conversions
  • How to build habits, increase loyalty, and so much more…


As you learn more about how your consumers’ brains work, you can market more effectively. You can also explore various biases that influence purchase behaviors, that are relevant to digital marketing, conversions and ecommerce success.

We’re already seeing how digital psychology works on a daily basis. Algorithms are used to provide recommendations, to categorize people into various groups so that one group is shown something different from other groups.

According to Pew Research, 75% of social media users say that they will share their data with sites if it’s used to recommend products they might want or events they might want to attend. However, only 37% would share that data if it’s being used for such things as receiving messages from political campaigns.

Consumers are demanding. They want a personalized experience, but they still want to control who gets what data. Digital psychology plays into this by not only using the data to produce algorithms, but to understand consumers to their fullest for your ecommerce and lead-gen website.

Give Your Customers What They Want

How do you give your customers what they want? Well, first, you have to know what they want.

The information is out there – in your analytics reports, in your log files, heat maps and so on. It’s up to you to make sense of it so that you can understand what your customers really care about and want. As you explore visitor behavior, their buying preferences and patterns, you can start to optimize the customer journey more effectively.

Think about this. You have an online business. You’ve marketed so that you have plenty of traffic on your website. Once people land on your site, it’s up to you to sell to them.

Do you have what they want? If you do, your conversion rates will prove it.

Otherwise, you’ve encountered one of two problems.

One, you don’t have what your target audience actually wants, needs or cares about.

Or, two, you’ve marketed to the wrong group of consumers.

Giving your customers what they want will depend on the type of online business that you have, and how you are able to serve and persuade them.

Become an Expert in Persuasion

Once you’ve embraced digital psychology to the point that you understand consumer emotions and buying patterns, you can persuade them.


Through content, your website elements, and visual clues, you have the ability to make your customers feel something. Get them mad, get them sad, or get them excited. Once you have tapped their emotions, it is easier to guide them towards your call to action, or your buy now button.

Emotions are linked to memories, and they can have a powerful impact on decision-making processes. You create a connection by getting people involved. As you embrace digital psychology, you’ll find that you can use emotions as a way to connect with your target audience.

There are a few ways to create an emotional connection with your visitors:

  • Tell an engaging story
  • Use metaphors
  • Be authentic
  • Use visuals clues

Remember, everyone is different. Everyone has had different experiences. To ensure you’re persuading using the best emotional connection, use some A/B testing on your content, your audiences.

Buying Patterns & Purchase Journey

At some point, consumers have to make the effort to show interest. They’ll click on an ad on social media or they’ll conduct a search on Google. However they get to your website, you have to determine how much persuasion they’ll actually need.

If you know that your target audience is at the beginning of their buying cycle and need more information, feed them with the right content to help them make decisions. This can include explainer videos, detailed product descriptions, and more.

Visitors who are at the final stages of their purchase journey, may just need a good hook. Offer them a good sale. Let them have fun with interactive content where they can spin for a promo code.

Your goal should be to take the stress of online shopping away from your visitors. When they’re less stressed about making a decision, they’ll be quicker to buy. More importantly, they’ll travel down the sales funnel faster, providing you with more consistent sales.

Market based on Consumer Behavior

Analytics may tell you who your target audience is or how much they’re spending online, but it can’t tell you anything about actual consumer behavior. This is when digital psychology comes in.

Scarcity. If you’ve ever booked on a hotel site and been told “only three rooms left” or have been shopping on another site and seen “low in stock,” you’ve seen the power of scarcity at work. It creates a sense of urgency in the buyer so that they realize that they have to act quickly. Particularly when you know that your buyers are generally ones that need to weigh a decision back and forth, this can speed up the buying process.

Authority. Have you ever bought something simply because it was recommended by somebody you trusted? That’s authority at work. Build your website authority, so that people trust you, believe what you have to say, and buy from you instead of your competition.

Decoy. It is a general tendency of humans to settle in the middle. You can give your audience three or four choices of a particular product or service. With “best deals”, you eliminate the anxieties of price conscious customers, while with the “most popular” products, you have give them confidence to proceed to your buy now button.

Altruism. People want to know that they’re giving back in one way or another. Particularly with higher-income households, people are more apt to buy from a brand if they know a percentage of their purchase is going toward a charitable cause or helping to grow trees somewhere.

Curiosity. Consumers are naturally curious, and when you pique their interest through your marketing strategy, you’ve captured their attention. Use photos, interesting, appealing facts, and more to get your target audience curious about what you have to offer.

Social proof. Consumers are skeptical. They need assurances. Provide social proof that your product works. This can be done with online reviews, social influencers, unboxing videos, security badges, and more.

Plenty of other tactics exist, too. Get to know your audience. Analyze the data. Conduct surveys. Learn who they are and what motivates them.

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